October 17th – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

“End poverty in all its forms, everywhere” is the first of the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals. This is a major challenge considering that according to the UN, 836 million people still live in extreme poverty.

Sonia Pérez Huertos, catalane artists, does a “cry for equality of opportunities and equal and fair distribution of wealth” in her painting “Two Voices” (see picture). Her painting was selected in this year “Concurso de ilustración: 17 objetivos para transformar nuestro mundo” (“Illustration Contest: 17 goals to transform our world”) organized by UNESCO Etxea – UNESCO Centre Basque Country to represent SDG 1.  

Review of “Two Voices”:

This picture intends to show the reality of a dual world in which those who work the land do not have the necessary resources to live, while others obtain scandalous benefits out of exploiting both persons and nature. It is a cry for equality of opportunities and equal and fair distribution of wealth. That is why a white man was chosen to represent the western world and a “racialized” woman as an example of poverty in developing countries. Also, the picture tries to highlight that poverty most of the times has a gender because women tend to choose less qualified and lowest-paid jobs.

Why celebrating this day?

According to the United Nations, poverty is an urgent human rights problem. Hence, it proclaimed this day so as to urge States to undertake and devote concrete activities to eradicate poverty and indigence. The chosen date is inspired in the call of action of October 17th 1987.

On that day, over one hundred thousand persons gathered in Trocadero, Paris ­where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had been signed and proclaimed that poverty was a violation of human rights. Also, they did a call of action for the world to join forces for the eradication of poverty.


Declaration International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights

Momo Estudi de Sonia Pérez Huertos

October 17, 2017